AN APPRAISAL OF THE DIVISION OF TAXING POWERS IN NIGERIA

126

AN APPRAISAL OF THE DIVISION OF TAXING POWERS IN NIGERIA – A PARADIGM SHIFT.

ABSTRACT

The prolonged military rule in Nigeria has bequeathed an over centralized structure under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999  whereby  the  Federal  Government generates about 90 percent of the country‟s tax revenue. While the need for decentralization and diversification of Nigerian revenue base from oil  is  self  evident, the  critical  roles  of  division  of taxing  powers  in  achieving  these  laudable  objectives  are  yet  to  be  articulated  and  mainstreamed in public discourse.  This  thesis  examines  the  framework  for  division  of  taxing  powers  in  Nigeria and the gap between theory and practice based on the country‟s  historical experiences and  that of other federations. It is  argued  that  the  current  structure  of division  of taxing  powers  is  antithetical  to the basic principles of federalism.  The  thesis  recommends  a  concurrent  use  of  a  few  broad based taxes under a cooperative federalism framework as a panacea for reform. .

This thesis is divided into seven chapters. Chapter One is on general introduction and research framework while Chapter Two focuses on Literature review.  The  jurisprudential  basis  of  tax  and other related terms form the basis of Chapter Three. Chapter Four examines the international perspectives of division of taxing powers in some federal  countries  such  as  United  States  of America,   Canada,  Australia,   India   and   Brazil.  Chapter  Five  examines  the  evolution  of  division of taxing powers in Nigeria while Chapter six discusses the  scheme  of  division  of  taxing  powers under the 1999 Constitution and the extent to which it either converges or diverges from the principles of federalism. The work is concluded in Chapter Seven with summary, findings and recommendations.

______________________________________